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Those who don’t learn from TPLF’s history of land abandonment are doomed to be duped again

By Haile Tessema
Tigrai Online, Dec. 12, 2018

While the Federal Government of Ethiopia has made no secret about the formation of a Commission to deal with identity and border issues, the TPLF Government of Tigrai – which of course is a coalition party member of EPRDF – is sending mixed, or at least vague, messages which lack clarity on the Party’s support or opposition to the said Commission.

Indeed, it’s been reported that parliamentarians representing constituencies in the Tigrai Region – who all happen to be members of the TPLF Party – have reportedly voted in favor of forming the Commission. On that note, Getachew Redda, TPLF Executive Committee member, conveniently evaded giving a direct answer to Fetsum Berhane’s specific question on this very issue during his Dec. 09, 2018 interview with Zami 90.7 FM.


Of course, Getachew made the point that a border is not as frivolous as a house rent matter to handle it through a Commission, which he dismissed as unconstitutional. Not surprisingly, his political groupies and the easy-to-please fb crowd are cheering this. But what has to be clear to all concerned is, an off-the-cuff remark during media chat doesn’t count as an official position on such an important issue.

What’s more, the fact that Dr. Debretsion Gebremichael, the head of the Regional Govt. of Tigrai and keynote speaker at the Dec. 08 public rally in Mekelle, didn’t say a word about the Commission despite comprehensively addressing the conflict in the offing is suspicious at the very least.

Consequently, the onus is on the Government of Tigrai (GOT) to write an official letter to the Prime Minister’s Office, the FDRE Government, the House of People’s Representatives, i.e. Parliament as well as the House of Federation that plainly and profoundly denies recognition of the Commission.

While at it, the GOT ought to call an official media briefing to unequivocally address this vital issue, which would ultimately equip the govt. with the political, legal and moral ground to dismiss any decision the Commission may eventually come up with as null and void.

Failing that, calling the inevitable outcome as unconstitutional, an unfair decision, thereby typically telling people to come out in masse to oppose it would be the mother of all betrayals, deceits, not to mention an insult to people’s intelligence, dignity and land rights.

After all, the hard truth is, TPLF is on record for negligently abandoning and/or giving away a people’s land to others during peace as well as war times by:

  1. Leaving Aleweha Melash to be in an unhistorical possession of the Amhara Region;
  2. Giving Berahle on a silver plate to Afar (both a & b as sacrificial lambs to a federalist system that is now on the verge of collapse);
  3. Agreeing in principle to give Badme away to Eritrea, while telling citizens the decision was favorable to them;
  4. Conceding to give a fertile land to appease Gedu Andargachew and his partners in crime, yet having the adverse impact of making them covet for even more land;

e) Selling or “leasing” fertile land in the almighty name of “development” and “investment”.

Sure enough, TPLF has a clear and consistent record of lacking a strong attachment to land, thus not caring as much as holding unto its political power.


Thus, politicians, the media, activists, opinion leaders, intellecyuals and the people of Tigrai at large have the moral and historical obligation not to take the TPLF Govt. at face value; make sure that the regional political leaders don’t get a blank check that will allow them to make decisions that are not in the short and long term best interest of the people and the region.